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Old 05-05-2013, 10:29 AM   #1337
machievelli
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The Lord of Hunger
The Catto

On Malachor V after SMG deployment: There is one person remaining that will survive

The piece has an interesting feel to it. It reminds me of some of the post apocalyptic movies of the late 60s, especially two I remember (Though I don't remember the titles) where the 'monster' that terrorizes a group in the one sheltered place from the devestation, is really the mutated ex-boyfriend of the girl in the story, or the father who has been trying to get home since the bombs fell.

Like the 'monster' in that story, we don't know how the hunger became what it was with Nihilus, only that it did. Having him stagger across the devastated landscape draining the other survivors to live is a chilling portrayal.

Welcome back

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Dealing with the Past
MaggOnasi and RevanBodyguard

No time after TSL given: Like Cheers, but with guns

Remember to sight edit. First there are words used that don't fit; no where instead of nowhere, gave her food instead of given or offered. Also there are sentences missing words or that don't scan well; 'Well, slap some stun cuffs and call me a Wookiee's uncle!' needs to be rewritten, such as 'cuffs on me', 'But Sera, you can't this up forever until you grow old and die' can lose either forever or until you grow old or die and still make sense.

Technical note, titles: Jedi Exile, Jedi Master, and Hapan Queen Mother. Quite a mouthful, but you do not have someone old enough to be all of them. The Exile would have been in her mid 30s during TSL, assuming she was in her early 20s during the Mandalorian Wars, since five years passed between the Wars and KOTOR, then another five years between KOTOR and TSL (Official timeline here). So Exile and Master yes. As for Queen Mother I address that in the next review, as this is a section replacing these two reviews.

Technical note, Bounty Hunters and Pirates: There are bars like the one described here even today where mobsters hang out without worrying about those pesky lawmen. Back during the Age of Piracy there were as well. However there are a couple of glaring inconsistencies. First, remember that piracy is like murder; whenever you get caught, you can still be tried for your crimes, so while the local cops might not raid the place to catch you, they would watch them hoping to catch you later. The other is the Bounty Hunter. First, the bounty is way too high.The average bounty in the game is only around 300 credits, which I would call chump change, so I would assume the regular ones in reality would be higher, but not this much higher.

As an historical example the bounty on the James Boys paid out by Missouri Governor Thomas Crittendon was 10,000 each. But that was because the railroads had put up the bounty money. The governor did not have the authority to pay out almost a third of his state's annual budget at the time to catch two men. Also the idea that the Bounty Hunter did not know who had placed the bounty doesn't make a lot of sense.

Last, like a pirate, a bounty hunter is in it for the money. He's not going to go into a protected bar, gun down or take his bounty, and expect to get out alive. Using just modern technology, not all that might exist in Star Wars, such a bar could have metal detectors, chemical detectors (To detect the chemicals used in propellants) and radio frequency detectors (to stop the local police from slipping in a man who can set up a raid). Just about every customer would be either an affiliate or hired muscle to protect the patrons. So getting in to find your target? No biggie. Trying to take them inside? Suicide.

Return
MaggOnasi and RevanBodyguard

Post TSL about a year: If it's not one thing it's another...

Remember to sight edit. You tend to run words together causing confusion for the reader. Watch out for obvious redundancies; in the first paragraph you say twice that the planet is wilderness, and twice that they never see true night due to the visual effects of the system. One was enough. In the second you do it again, this time saying the man is dying in his deathbed. The term deathbed pretty means he is dying.

Technical note, fuel: It is unlikely that a ship in the Star War universe would run out of fuel enroute to a destination, and the reason is simple. Modern commercial aircraft (And as a light freighter, Ebon Hawk is a commercial craft) have fuel warnings. Just using the modern day equivalent:

The crew of a 757 from Tokyo Japan to San Francisco is struck down by sickness, and you have to take control. Not as bad as it sounds since the 757 has not only auto-navigation but also auto-landing capability. All you need to do is program the auto-navigation system. Not knowing where you are, you think of where you are going, which is in your case, New York via a connecting flight. So you grab the Jeppson guide, program in the code for New York, and the system rejects it. The reason it does is you do not have enough fuel to make that trip.

You see, the computer has the available fuel remaining in it's memory and the distance that fuel will carry you. If you put in a distance further than it will fly, it will reject it, and the system will give you a warning as to why. The same system also has a listing (If asked) of the destinations you can reach. It is unlikely that the Ebon Hawk's computer is not that capable. Unlike the craft in my example, your primary concern is not crashing, it's the fact that in a spacecraft, you may be unable to get anywhere at all. Spatial distances, even in our solar systems are too vast. The best way to understand this is to read the short story 'The Cold Equations' by Tom Goodwin, which can be found on the web in PDF format.

Technical note, titles: In royal lines there is no such title as King Father, not even in the Hapan Cluster. In the previous review for Dealing with the Past, I found the title Queen Mother, and it wasn't until after I reviewed it that I discovered that Queen Mother is the title of the overall monarch.

The Hapan system is a mixture of lineages , being both patrilineal (The father's blood determines who rules) and Matriarchal (The women rule). However it isn't as simple as I have painted it; because it is the wife of the first born son who is Queen Mother. She gains her throne and authority from him. But the king is the king until he abdicates or dies, it is that simple. So his new wife, the Queen Mother at the start of the story automatically loses her authority when her husband dies unless there is an heir. In your case that heir had died before her father, and therefore it fall upon his elder daughter.

When a monarch steps down, he is not called the King Father, even if he is the father of the new monarch, he is given a lesser title. As an example in 1936 when Edward VII abdicated to allow himself to marry Wallis Simpson, his brother Albert became George VI. Edward was named Duke of Windsor, a life title (Meaning when he died, his children would not gain the title). This would have been the case regardless of who replaced him, since a Regency Council would not have allowed him to maintain the title of King.

Technical note, attainted procedure: When your dying king names his daughter by his first wife, the second wife remembers banishing the woman upon her return after the Mandalorian Wars. This is wrong on several levels.

1: Jedi, When she went to the Jedi, she would more likely have had her title as princess removed because a monarch, like a wife and mother, cannot have a countervailing loyalty. The Jedi were supposed to be loyal to the order and Republic as a whole. Having her later ascend a throne could cause a schism in the nation because she has shown no direct loyalty to her home. A Count (Such as Count Dooku) could attain that title, but a count does not have all of the authority of someone higher in the peerage, and in Dooku's case, it would probably have been a life title as mentioned above.

2: Secrecy. In the case of Edward VII mentioned above, it would have to be public to be legal. This means there should be no way the King did not know about it, since he would have to go to his version of parliament personally and ask for her to be set aside. A Queen Consort (His wives) would not have the authority to order such an action legally, even in the Hapan Cluster as shown when Tenel Ka assumed the throne upon not her mother, but her father's death. The succession must be decided by the monarch and the parliament.

In an odd note, the Succession of Henry VII to the throne after the death of Richard III was by definition illegal because the writ that allowed Richard to ascend the throne was set aside unread. For parliament to set aside a law, even a bad law, it is required that the law in question be read into the public record and have debate on it's merits before voting. Henry brought that writ, ordered that it not be read aloud, ordered that there would be no debate on it's legality, then ordered parliament to vote on it.

There are historical examples of what the Hapans are facing; when King Henry VIII divorced Catherine of Aragon, he first petitioned the Pope for an Anullment. Since he had a daughter, the Pope refused. Henry retaliated by creating the Church of England, with himself as it's head, and then went to parliament to have Catherine set aside.

Once that had been done, Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn. When Anne became pregnant, he again went to parliament to have Catherine's daughter Mary declared illegitimate, removing her from the succession.

When Anne gave birth to Elizabeth, Henry again tried for a son with Anne, who had three recorded miscarriages. When Anne protested his intent to set her aside, he had her tried for incest, adultery and treason, and she was executed. It wasn't until Edward VI was born that Elizabeth was also declared illegitimate. This caused a great deal of turmoil in England when Edward died before he reached his majority, forcing the British to first bring Mary back into the succession, then when she died childless, brought back Elizabeth. But in both of those cases, parliament had to repeat the actions of Henry VII, bring out the writs, and then declaring them invalid.

You see, an annulment is not a divorce, it is a legal statement saying the marriage never happened. Look at Prince Charles in the modern day. Under the rules of the Church of England, you cannot marry again while your divorced wife lives. That is why he waited until Diana was dead before marrying his 'true love'.

Technical note, titles: We do not know what title Revan had before her departure to the Mandalorian Wars, but having her claim the title of Jedi Grand Master makes no sense. Having a Grand Master lead the military intervention would have caused serious problems within the order. Considering the events that followed it would have been worse, since it would be like the Pope personally leading a Crusade against the Catholic Church's sanction. The Catholic Church would have set him aside so they could declare a new Grand Master the instant his feet left the ground.

A claimed title means nothing if you do not have a legal leg to stand on. Joshua Abraham Norton declared himself Emperor of the US, but using his signature on a land grant would not have stood up in any court, as the title was self proclaimed, and therefore invalid. So having 'Grand Master Revan' declare the Exile a Jedi Master would be just as invalid.


18 Things You Don't Want To Hear on the Ebon Hawk
MaggOnasi and RevanBodyguard

Both KOTOR and TSL: A listing of what you would rather not hear yet again.

Remember Conversation breaks. Running the different speakers together detracts from the story. A reader should be able to follow it like a movie, not have to mentally jump from one to the other as they speak in the same sentence.

Actually as much as the author comments that she doesn't do humor, some of the suggestions are funny. My favorite was shooting Atton in the knees before saying she loves him, and Mira's advice on how to get a man. In When the Devil Dances by John Ringo, you have a young Cally O'Neal asking an older woman how to find the right guy. Since a man had tried to rape her, and she replied by shooting him, she finally decides the way to do this is to shoot the next guy she feels affection for with a .22 caliber pistol, and if he comes back, he must be serious...

KOTOR Wedding
MaggOnasi and RevanBodyguard

Post TSL: Revan and Carth can't even have a quiet moment together...

The first part, the giggiling girls (Ignoring Bastila of course) joking about the wedding was good, though it had the flaws previously addressed in your works. However it went bad with the second section, as addressed below in the Technical note.

Technical note, Send in the Clones: The use of clones by the Dark Side leaders such as Emperor Palpatine in the EU is a given. However this is the better part of 4,000 years in the past. It would be like the people who built Stonehenge (2000 BCE) using a modern crane in that construction. We know how much of technology has changed in that time here on Earth, so let's look at what might be used in cloning:

They had the process way back when, it was called having a baby and raising that child to think he is actually his father, or descended from the Gods. Before you protest, that is what they did with the Dali Lama and the Japanese Emperors from the distant past up until the last century; you're a reincarnated soul who is also the head of our religion, or you are descended from the Goddess Amaterasu in an unbroken line for 13,000 years. Obviously it didn't work very well. Modern cloning could make a clone of you, but you don't have the speeded up maturation process mentioned in Attack of the Clones, so an eighteen year old would have to grow for eighteen years. But it would not be an exact duplicate without a lot of additional work.

Read the Book The Boys From Brazil where Josef Mengele is trying to recreate Adolph Hitler. Even the process there has problems as they are trying to recreate his early life as well; having the 'fathers' of the fifty odd boys have careers as close to the orignal's as possible, including the timing of their deaths, and ages they die at.

It made some sense with the Emperor, after all he is the only Sith remaining. But the Sith back then weren't using the rule of two yet. The instant Revan was believed dead, Malak would have acted like any usurper, eliminating all possible threats, and a clone of Revan would have been a threat.

Screwed
Epic Bad Ass

Post TSL:

Remember to sight edit. In your case, I would suggest looking for redundancies; you say the first character is in all black, then describe every item, again saying black. It reminds me of the scene in the last episode of MASH when the Korean girl Soon Lee is describing her family, and every description is exactly the same. If you are kicking someone, you are using your leg, so you don't need to say 'with his leg'. Saying a Selkath is a Selkath is like saying my cat, which is a cat. Oh and it is red (The color) not read (scanning the words).

Second, as mentioned in a previous review of another writer, the bounty is way too high. One of the highest bounties ever paid was for Jesse James at 10,000 dollars, which accounting for inflation, would be over 212,000 today. In comparison, the average modern bounty hunter only makes about 20,000 a year. However on further reading, you did explain the bounty is due to inflation (Which the other writer did not).

Technical note, Weapons: When using weapons, remember their areas of effect. With modern weapons, a modern Fragmentation grenade has a kill radius of about 15 feet for example. An incendiary grenade (White Phosphorus) has a fifty foot kill radius. You used the Star Wars equivalent (Which is softball sized, not kiwi fruit sized) in a space too small for the one using it to be safe from the effects. The reason I used those two grenade types is because they are two of only three grenades (The other concussion, or what they call flash-bangs) that have timed delays. The two mentioned have this so the one throwing them can get under cover, or far enough away before they detonate.

Technical note, kolto: Since kolto is a naturally occuring resource, you do not manufacture it, you process it. Like Opium, which starts as paste, then is reduced into it's final form of Heroin Sulfate. You have 10% remaining at each stage, so a hundred kilos of opium paste ends up as 100 grams of powdered heroin.

The piece is fast paced, action packed, humorous and well written. I have a personal pet peeve about stealth and shield belts, since you don't see them in the more modern (As in 4,000 years later) Star Wars, except for the physical shields used by the Gungan, and the ones used in Droidikas. However that didn't stop me from enjoying chapter one.

Couldn't read it all, more the pity, but if you're reading this article, I suggest it highly.

Pick of the Week

KOTOR 3: The Real War
Darkmoonvampire

Through KOTOR and TSL: Now the real war can begin

The piece is well written. Even though chapter one was merely a recap of the first adventure, and according to the author chapter two is a cecap of the second, I was drawn in by the writing style. You didn't merely rehash what had occurred, you made the story your own, and that is what a good writer does.

I especially liked how you had your Revan drug Carth to keep him from following, and giving us a destination for where the Exile can pick up the trail. One thing that bothered me about both games was that all we knew was that Revan was bound for the Unknown regions, and the Exile had to just search there. It would be like a General from the War Between the States looking for her old commander, and being told she went West with all of the Western US territories of that time to search.

Pick of the Week

Becoming An Apprentice To A Lightsabre Master
EragonPeep

Pre-Mandalorian Wars: An apprentice gets a new master

The piece has only two problems with it. One, remember conversation breaks, even if the communication is telepathic. You forgot this in the section before the ceremony, and I had trouble keeping track of the speakers. Second, it is outrage, not out rage.

That being said, the piece is a fun read, and as the author points out, it does sort of sound like a marriage ceremony. This is a diversion from when we see Anakin being chosen in Phantom Menace, and Ahsoka being 'assigned' in the Clone Wars movie, but in more settled times, it would make sense.

Pick of the Week

One Night
Moonmythology

KOTOR on Kashyyk: Some alone time

One negative, I could not find Festivating in the dictionary, though it appears to be a new word linking festival with celebrate, so I will say nothing more.

That being said, the piece caused me to laugh out loud. Having Bastila in a fantasy comforting a distraught Rui (Revan) about the loss of his virginity as if she were the man in the piece, stacking boxes against the hatch (You don't have doors on ships) then having her watch the news after eating cookies (You forgot the 'C') was just fun.

Pick of the Week

Lord of the Galaxy
VX-1482

Post-KOTOR: What happens when the Dark Lord returns?

Quotation marks are supposed to separate the words spoken by the character from their actions. What this means the sentence “This is what I mean. Machievelli said”, would be correct if written “This is what I mean.” Machievelli said.

The piece is well written beyond that, and as someone who has studied the military for most of my life, the only other negatives I have are these. First, the two commanders have different styles and limits. In my own work, I compared Revan to Malak by saying Revan was more a follower of Sun Tzu, who said 'a good commander knows when to fight, and when not to fight'. Someone more comfortable with a rapier, while Malak was a 'beat on them until they submit' type, so the kind of warrior who uses an axe. Just telling the commanders to 'keep on keeping on' doesn't fit his style. That is what caused the destruction of Taris and Dantooine.

One reason I mentioned this is that Revan would be the Supreme Commander of all forces with the fleet comanders controlling their own assigned forces. You wouldn't need that position beyond staff officers in charge of the separate military arms and those fleet commanders. The situation is analogous to Admiral Halsey, who while in overall command of all three in his area of operations, had separate commanders for each. In my own Return From Exile over at Lucasforums And Dxun Memories, I had Revan as the fleet commander, because she was the better strategist, but Marai Devos, my Exile, was the Ground Commander because she was the better tactician. This is because both are specialities that don't always transfer; Halsey wouldn't have had the grasp of infantry and ground tactics needed to fully command the invasions he led. That was left to the Marine and Army generals who led the men onto the beaches.

Beyond what I mentioned, the piece is very well written. It's a pity the author wrote only one piece.

Pick of the Week

Death of a Murderer
Lady Zenoka

KOTOR After Leviathan: Companion piece to Death of a Savior, what she thought before she died.

Back In February I read the first piece, and my primary problem with Carth killing Revan was the thought; we never got to read that final letter before he killed her.

Well I got the chance. I won't say it was worth the wait, because I wish the author had posted this earlier. I could see the degeneration of her ego, her wish that she wasn't who she was, her terror of what she could become weighs on her. She is ready to die, and her relief that it would be Carth rather than her own hand that ends her life is almost stellar.

Pick of the Week

If Only
Firera

Pre-Mandalorian Wars: The relationship between Kavar and the Exile

The piece is well written, the interplay between the characters very well done. Her dealing with not only her own feelings but the feelings of those around her who want to be in her place is fun, as is Kavar's reaction to the revelation of those other girl's fantasies related to him. A lot of fun.

Pick of the Week

considering starting a webpage featuring all of my published work for e-copy. Now just have to find a PDF maker, and alter them for publication. Any comments?


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile

Last edited by machievelli; 05-12-2013 at 10:19 PM. Reason: I made an error. Mea Culpa
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